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Wickliffe Case Illustrates Lack Of Accountability

Wickliffe Case Illustrates Lack Of Accountability In Justice System

ACT leader Richard Prebble has expressed surprise at a decision yesterday by Tauranga magistrates to release without conviction Dean Wickliffe, one of New Zealand's most notorious criminals, after he was found driving while disqualified and with 12 grams of cannabis in his car.

"There appears to be no accountability in our justice system," Mr Prebble said.

"For one of the magistrates to then congratulate Wickliffe for being `brave' just creates a Ned Kelly-like image for a man who has a shocking criminal record.

"It's time we looked at a Sentencing Commission whereby courts are required to sentence all offenders to similar punishments.

"No doubt this week there have been several people in court for driving while disqualified, with no other criminal record and no drugs in their car, who received stiff penalties. Such people will say, `where's the fairness in the system?'

"ACT believes we need to restore personal responsibility to the justice system and the court's treatment of Wickliffe just illustrates our point," Mr Prebble said.


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